The Austin Bruins kept things rolling the right direction as they posted a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Brookings Blizzard. Getting the start in goal both games was rookie goalie Kris Carlson. The 18-year-old native of Centerville, VA, stopped 51 of a possible 55 shots in two games. On Friday, Carlson (6’2/180) stopped 24 of 25 shots in a 4-1 road win in Brookings. On Saturday, he made 27 saves in a 6-3 home win over the Blizzard. For the season, Carlson is 3-1 with a 2.50 GAA and a 91.9% save percentage. “Kris has come in and in a short amount of time has established himself as a hard working, competitive and confident young man. While our group continues to grow and mature on the ice, Kris has been there to have our backs and we look forward to a successful season from him,” said Austin head coach Kyle Grabowski.
2nd Star: Jared Brandt, D, Minot Minotauros
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dawson DiPietro, F, Austin Bruins – Lucas Murray, G, Minot Minotauros – Jared Pike, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Alex Strand, F, Bismarck Bobcats
For the second consecutive week, New Jersey forward Anthony Cusanelli is the East Division Star of the Week, and for good reason. The 19-year-old native of Homdel, NJ, had five points (four goals) in a pair of weekend home games against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Johnstown. On Friday, Cusanelli (6’1/174) had a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal and an assist in a 6-0 win over the Knights. On Saturday, he had a goal in a 4-3 loss against the Tomahawks. Cusanelli is now 5th in league scoring with 11 points in eight games played. “We are very proud of what Anthony is accomplishing on and off the ice. He is student of the game and his worth ethic is getting rewarded. He is a threat every time he steps onto the ice and we are very fortunate to have him,” said New Jersey head coach Rich McKenna.
2nd Star: Evgeny Yakovlev, F, Aston Rebels
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jack Berry, G, New Jersey Titans – Gvido Jansons, D, Aston Rebels – Tommy Horn, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Kelly O’Brien, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Springfield forward Michael Houle, 19, helped his club to a weekend sweep of the Coulee Region Chill during Springfield’s home opening weekend. The native of Oxford, MI, had four points in the two wins and was a +3. On Friday, Houle (6’2/190) had a goal and two assists in a 3-2 win. On Saturday, the Bowling Green recruit had an assist in another 3-2 win. For the season, Houle has six point in six games played. “Mike was an impact player for us this weekend getting a point on all 3 goals on Friday night along with an assist Saturday in helping us with our sweep. The great thing was that as a veteran and he helped us not only by putting up points, but contributed defensively along with helping our special teams,” said Jr. Blues head coach Tony Zasowski.
2nd Star: Tyler Vold, D, Minnesota Wilderness
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Koby Bender, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Cam Cook, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Josef Ingman, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Adam Kresl, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Tommy Nappier, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Tyler Tomberlin, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The Topeka RoadRunners are back on track thanks to a weekend home sweep of the Lone Star Brahmas. Veteran defenseman Tyler Hayes, 19, was a factor in both wins as the native of Brighton, MI, played well at both ends of the ice. On Friday, Hayes (5’11/175) had an assist and was +3 in a 4-3 win. On Saturday, Hayes scored a goal and was +1 in a 3-2 win. For the 2015-16 season, Hayes is tied for the team lead in points with six. "Tyler has been a solid veteran presence on our blue line so far this season. He is competing hard and has been rewarded for his efforts. He is proving to be true leader on and off the ice," stated Topeka assistant coach Josh Kamrass.
2nd Star: Max Reisinger, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Anton Martinsson, G, Amarillo Bulls – Andy McGlynn, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Dryden McKay, G, Corpus Christi IceRays – Joey Molinaro, F, Amarillo Bulls – Michael Rounds, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Marcus Russell, F, Topeka RoadRunners
Thanks to the play of players like forward Jade Miller, 20, the Austin Bruins got right back on track with a 3-1 record at the NAHL Showcase. The veteran from Minot, ND, was a scoring machine at the Showcase as he registered eight points in the four games. Miller (5’9/180) began the Showcase in style with a hat-trick and an assist in an 8-0 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the first game. After going scoreless in the team’s only loss the next day against Springfield, Miller had two goals in both wins over Aston and Kenai River. Of his eight points at the Showcase, seven of those were goals. Miller’s seven goals to date in tied for tops in the NAHL. “Jade has been terrific for us. Off the ice, he has stepped up and really been a good veteran leader. He is worked very hard to get to this point and have success,” said Austin head coach Kyle Grabowski.
2nd Star: Peter Thome, G, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Willie Brown, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Mikael Hakkarainen, F, Brookings Blizzard – Aaron Herdt, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Max Mettler, D, Minot Minotauros – Gavin Payne, F, Aberdeen Wings – TJ Samec, D, Brookings Blizzard – Johnny Walker, F, Minot Minotauros
The New Jersey Titans made quite the impression this past week at the NAHL Showcase as they were crowned co-Champions thanks to a perfect 4-0 record, which put them atop the East Division. Forward Anthony Cusanelli, 19, is tied for the team scoring lead thanks to a five-point performance at the event. The native of Holmdel, NJ, scored a goal in each of the first three wins and added two assists. He was also a +4 during the event. Cunanelli is a rookie in the NAHL this season and is the product of the New Jersey Jr. Titans of the NAPHL, where he has spent the last four seasons. “Anthony is a player we are really excited about. He has been a Titan his whole life coming up through the ranks and has success at every level. His offensive capabilities have been known for sometime now but his willingness to continue to learn and apply what he has learned to his play away from the puck speaks volumes of him as a player. We feel very fortunate to have him in our lineup,” said New Jersey head coach Rich McKenna.
2nd Star: Darren Brady, D, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Alger, F, Johnstown Tomahawks – Kelly O’Brien, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Minnesota Wilderness goalie Chase Munroe, 20, was busy this past week at the NAHL Showcase appearing in all four games. The native of Naperville, IL, faced a total of 78 shots in the better part of four games and stopped 74 of them for a 94.8% save percentage and a 1.09 goals against average during the event. Munroe (6’4/216) allowed just a single goal in wins over Odessa and Amarillo. He then was perfect in a relief appearance in a 3-2 loss against Lone Star. He allowed two goals in a 2-1 overtime loss to Aberdeen on the final day. Munroe is in his third and final season in the NAHL. “Chase had very solid showcase. That kind of play gives us a chance to win every game,” said Wilderness head coach Corey Millen.
2nd Star: Jack LaFontaine, G, Janesville Jets
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ryan Bloom, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Cayden Cahill, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Cam Cook, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Tommy Napier, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – Gavin Nieto, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Joey Sardina, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Martin Sundberg, F, Janesville Jets – Isaac Theissen, F, Coulee Region Chill – Brady Tomlak, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Hunter Vorva, G, Coulee Region Chill
Wichita Falls forward Ben Lown, 17, helped the Wildcats to a 3-0-1 record while at the Showcase and a 1st place tie in the South Division. The native of Newport Coast, CA, had six points in the four games, which included five assists and a +6 rating. After going scoreless in an opening win over Minot, Lown (5’7/150) had an assist in a win over Coulee Region and two multi-point games in a win over Kenai River and shootout loss against New Jersey. Lown currently leads the Wildcats in scoring with nine points in six games played. “Ben got more confident each game and showed improvement each game. He is blessed with tremendous speed. The biggest thing he did was finding his open teammates, which created a lot of scoring chances this past week,” said Wildcats head coach John LaFontaine.
2nd Star: Brandon Tucker, F, Odessa Jackalopes
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Adam Goodsir, F, Wichita Falls Wildcats – Tyler Hayes, D, Topeka RoadRunners – Carter Johnson, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Martin Mellberg, F, Lone Star Brahmas - George Mika, F, Amarillo Bulls – Conor O’Brien, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Gunner Rivers, G, Odessa Jackalopes – Cam Strong, F, Topeka RoadRunners
It was a big opening weekend for the Bismarck Bobcats and forward Willie Brown. The native of South St. Paul, MN went off for seven points in the Bobcats sweep of the Austin Bruins. On Friday, Brown, 19, had five assists in a 6-3 win. On Saturday, Brown assisted on Bismarck’s second goal and scored the third goal in a 3-0 shutout win. Brown (5’11/205) was also a +5 on the weekend and recorded three shots. Brown spent last season playing in the NAHL with both Bismarck and Topeka. "Willie is definitely a talented player, but what sets him apart is his hockey IQ. He sees plays develop better than most guys at the junior level and uses that vision to create great opportunities for his linemates and himself. This weekend Willie, Aaron [Herdt] and Travis [Wood] were executing in midseason form and were a major reason we were able to take four points on the weekend,” said Bismarck head coach Layne Sedevie.
2nd Star: Kane Durment, F, Brookings Blizzard
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Owen Larson, F, Minot Minotauors – Christian Mohs, F, Minot Minotauros – TJ Samec, D, Brookings Blizzard – Hunter Shepard, G, Bismarck Bobcats
The Johnstown Tomahawks opened up their season with two road games in the new East Division. 20-year-old forward Anthony Parrucci helped the Tomahawks one of two games and played well in both. On Friday, the native of Gibsonia, PA had two goals, including the game-winner and an assist in a 7-3 win in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton against the Knights. On Saturday, Parrucci (6’1/200) had one of the team’s two goals in a 5-2 loss in New Jersey against the Titans. Parrucci was also a +3 on the weekend. Last year he played for the Michigan Warriors in the NAHL. “Anthony is a very good power forward. He has great size, great speed, but his compete level is what stands out to me. This weekend he showed he could play at this level and be a big time player,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Keegan Miller, F, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Garrett Hallford, F, New Jersey Titans
The Kenai River Brown Bears picked up their first win of the season in a very tough place to win, Janesville, Wisconsin. Goalie Brian Baker, 20, was outstanding in both games as he faced a total of 77 shots and stopped 73 of them. On Friday night, the naitve of McMurray, PA, made 37 saves in a 4-3 overtime win. On Saturday, Baker (5’10/152) made 36 saves and allowed just a single goal in a 2-0 loss (empty-net). For the season, Baker has a save percentage of 92.5%. He is both an NAPHL (Esmark Stars) alum and an NA3HL (Pittsburgh Vengeance) alum. “Brian has done an outstanding job throughout our training camp process and into the start of the regular season. He is playing with confidence and it showed this past weekend in Janesville as he gave us an opportunity to win each game. That is what we expect from our #1 goalie,” said Kenai River head coach Geoff Beauparlant.
2nd Star: Logan Coomes, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jack Gessert, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Jake Hamacher, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Adam Kleven, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs - Jack LaFontaine, G, Janesville Jets – Nils Rygaard, F, Janesville Jets
The Corpus Christi IceRays opened their season with a series in Topeka and ended up with a weekend road split. Forward Andy McGlynn, 18, scored in each of the games and had four shots on goal. On Friday, the native of St. Louis, MO, had the IceRays first goal in a 3-1 win. On Sunday, McGlynn (5’10/188) had the lone goal in a 2-1 loss. Last season, McGlynn spent time with both Corpus Christi and Springfield in the NAHL and the St. Louis Jr. Blues in the NA3HL. He has played in the last two NA3HL Top Prospects Tournaments. “I am really happy for Andy. He's started this season off the same way he finished at our main camp this summer. He is very determined to be an impact player this year and had a great opening weekend,” said IceRays head coach John Becanic.
2nd Star: Quinn Preston, F, Topeka RoadRunners
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Graham Hunt, G, Corpus Christi IceRays – Ryan O’Connor, D, Topeka RoadRunners